Weekly Schedule

The following is a tentative schedule. Against each weekly topic is a list of competencies matching the NSF/NIH Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) requirements. All students supported on an NSF or NIH grant must satisfy the RCR requirement. The aim is for this course to meet this requirement.

Week #


RCR Competencies*

Discussion Leaders

Week 1
Introduction: On being a graduate student in computer science
Week 2
Choosing and managing a relationship with your advisor
 [1], [5]
Ximeng Sun, Reuben Tan
Week 3
Identifying and reading research papers
 [1] Guanting Chen, Zezhou Sun
Week 4
Reviewing research papers
 [1], [4], [8]
Benjamin Verdier, Harshal Chaudhari
Week 5
Writing research papers, and being and effective writer
Ping Hu, Kuniaki Saito
Week 6
Presenting research work: how to be a good communicator  [1-3], [6-7]
Ryan Yu, Hassan Saadi
Week 7
Tools of the Trade: resources to help prepare papers and conduct research [2]
Sha Lai, Peilun Dai
Week 8
Experimental design and data analysis
[2], [6-7]
Andrea Burns, Nataniel Ruiz
Week 9
Academic conduct: truth in reporting and conflict of interest
[1], [6-7]
Konstantinos Ameranis,
Dina Bashkirova
Week 10
Whose idea is it? Acknowledging and building on other work, or just plain plagiarism?
[1], [5-8]
Allison Mann, Hieu Le
Week 11
Finding resources: BU library facilities, online materials, and the greater research community
Zhenxun Zhuang,
Wenda Qin
Week 12
Life after your PhD: Finding a job, academic careers versus industry and research labs
[1], [6]
Keyi Chen, 
Jamie Nelson
Week 13
Time management as a PhD student
Shahin Roozkhosh, Showan Asyabi
  • Research misconduct and mentorship -- roles and responsibilities in reporting allegations of research misconduct (whistle blowing)  
    • See: p. 20 of ORI Introduction to Responsible Conduct of Research (Updated Edition August 2007)
  • Authorship credit
    • See: p. 36 of On Being a Scientist (3rd edition, 2009) -- Who Gets Credit

*RCR Competency Key:
[1] Mentor/Trainee Responsibilities
[2] Data acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership
[3] Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship
[4] Peer Review
[5] Collaborative Science
[6] Research Ethics and the Role of the Scientist
[7] Research Misconduct
[8] Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment

Additional Information

The course requires 14 weeks of classroom discussions. All students are required to be in attendance. Your grade will
be based on your participation. Each of the 14 weeks is broken down into the following:
Students are required to be in regular discussion with the course instructors about progress on a technical paper for a chosen research topic. Similarly, students are required to meet with the course instructors ahead of each class to prepare discussion notes (e.g., Powerpoint slides or
equivalent materials, group questions, and classroom activities). Discussion notes must meet the approval of the instructors before the class meets to discuss the chosen topic. As class sizes can vary, teams of students are assigned to tackle each of the 14 week topics, with emphasis placed on RCR competencies.

Aside from the classroom meetings, we expect students to commit to at least 2 hours of effort each week, in combination with
meeting the course instructors, other CS faculty, and working on their required assignments.

*** For the RCR Case Studies we might combine the listed topics into appropriate discussion weeks, described above. Depending on the duration of discussion, we may choose to expand Weeks 9 and 10 ("Academic conduct" and "Whose idea is it?"). Everyone is required to participate in the case study discussions.

Finally, as part of your RCR requirements, every student must complete the Advanced RCR Online Introduction. You can take this online introduction before starting CS697. Upon completion of both the online preparation and the Graduate Initiation Seminar, you will be eligible for a Certificate of Completion from the Office of Research Compliance. Please see the attached welcome message for more details.